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Tom Watson Adds to British Open Memories With Hole-in-One

U.S. Golfer Tom Watson
U.S. golfer Tom Watson acknowledges the crowd on the 17th green, on the second day of the 140th British Open Golf championship at Royal St George's in Sandwich, Kent, south east England, on July 15, 2011. Photographer: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Five-time champion Tom Watson added to his list of memories at the British Open with a hole-in-one during today’s second round.

Watson’s tee shot took one bounce into the cup on the par-3, 167-yard sixth hole at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England. He said he didn’t see the ball go in until watching a television replay after his round.

“It was a slam dunk,” Watson, who said it was his 15th ace, told reporters. “If it missed the flag it would’ve been 30 feet by. But it was lucky. They’re all lucky when they go in.”

Watson was congratulated by playing partners Henrik Stenson of Sweden and 20-year-old English amateur Tom Lewis, who was named after the eight-time major winner. The 61-year-old American then bowed toward the crowd around the tee box.

Watson, who lost a playoff to Stewart Cink two years ago at the Open, said he hit a 4-iron, a true sign of his age.

“Old guys hit 4-irons 160 yards into the wind,” he said. “The kids are hitting 6-irons.”

Watson said he was watching an Open preview on television this morning that showed Gene Sarazen’s hole-in-one at the age of 71 on the famed “Postage Stamp” eighth green at Royal Troon in Scotland during the 1973 Open.

“Maybe that’s what inspired me today, I don’t know,” he said. “That’s the second one I’ve had in a major championship. I had one at the U.S. Open in 1980 at Baltusrol on the fourth hole of the first round. Maybe it was bookends.”

It’s the second ace at this year’s Open following American Dustin Johnson’s yesterday on the 159-yard 16th hole.

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